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Messages - geegee

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211
Routes / Re: Syracuse NY to Pittsburgh PA?
« on: May 26, 2009, 11:41:14 am »
I'm in Ottawa ON and I usually enter the States at Ogdensburg NY via the bridge or Cape Vincent NY via the ferry from Wolfe island. Getting to Syracuse from both points is pretty straightforward.

I suppose I could follow the ACA route to the Lake Erie shore and the question remains what the best route to get to Pittsburgh from there?

212
Routes / Syracuse NY to Pittsburgh PA?
« on: May 24, 2009, 11:31:33 am »
Anyone have some good advice on roads to take from Syracuse to Pittsburgh? I'd like to do the GAP and C&O sometime and I'm looking for a good route to get there from Canada. I've cycled to Syracuse before, but not farther southwest.

213
GPS Discussion / Re: Garmin software for Mac OS X: Experience?
« on: May 23, 2009, 12:02:10 pm »
I got my new MacBook and installed the Garmin Software in it and it definitely works better on the new intel Macs. As a bonus, the two-finger scrolling function on the multi-touch trackpad works from any tool, making switching to the hand tool for panning obsolete. The pinch gesture, however does not work for scaling in and out, but I hope they incorporate it in a future version which will then make the magnify tool redundant.

By the way just to mention to Mac users who are not aware, that older maps need to be converted to Mac format on a Windows PC. It's a one time pain, but could be difficult for someone who does not have access to a PC. Details on how to do this are documented here

Also, Garmin has released BaseCamp for Mac which makes use of the 3-D features of the newer topo maps along with altitude data from your GPS unit.


214
General Discussion / Re: Menus for bicycle trip
« on: May 14, 2009, 11:28:51 pm »
Since you have a support vehicle, I don't think you have to worry much about the menu. It really becomes more of an issue for self-supported tours when carrying weight and equipment play a big role. With a group like that, you'll probably need to prepare a good quantity of food at a time, so pick foods that are not fussy to prepare, like Mac and cheese, spaghetti, or chili, or pack a barbecue grill/griddle for burgers and pancakes.

215
GPS Discussion / Re: Garmin software for Mac OS X: Experience?
« on: May 14, 2009, 11:05:24 pm »
I've been using Garmin's RoadTrip (and Bobcat before that) for a while that I've almost forgotten how it is to use MapSource. I't not the snappiest software -- I'm still running it on a PowerMac G5, but that may change when I get my new MacBook Pro next week.

I have some issues with the "smart" folders becoming locked when I want to edit routes, and the program keeps on making duplicate copies when I make changes or add additional routes.

Compared to other Mac software, I find the tool set up a bit crude. I wish they would make use of the shift and command keys, so that you could toggle to the hand and the zoom functions from the other tools.

Other than those points, the program is not bad and hasn't crashed on me since it went out of beta stage.

216
Gear Talk / Re: NuVinci hub
« on: May 08, 2009, 07:22:02 pm »
I didn't think the NuVinci hubs were that much more than Alfine, $100 more at most. Curiously, there is a Cadillac-branded NuVinci Bike that is much cheaper.

One thought I had was a NuVinci Hub coupled with a Gates Carbon Drive could make for a really sweet commuter bike especially in the cold snowy winter.

217
Gear Talk / NuVinci hub
« on: May 08, 2009, 02:49:45 pm »
Anyone try out a NuVinci hub yet? I'm interested in one but not for touring, just for commuting. There seemed to be glowing reviews of it a couple of years ago from some websites, but I haven't really seen any recent reviews especially from real consumers.

218
Gear Talk / Re: Bike Jersey vs. Under Armour
« on: May 06, 2009, 08:10:23 pm »
I really like using rash guards when I ride. I have a few of them because I do quite a bit of kayaking as well. Because they are made for water sports, I find they dry much quicker than bike jerseys, and feel much more comfortable when you're sweaty. My faves are from http://www.levelsixinc.com

I like UnderArmour, too. I never used the pockets in my bike jerseys so I don't miss them.

219
Routes / Re: Pacific Coast or Calgary to Denver through the Rockies?
« on: April 26, 2009, 10:15:47 pm »
Three months is a good amount of time and offers a lot of possibilities. If I were you, I would consider flying to Edmonton. From there you could cycle to Jasper, then ride down the spectacular Icefields Parkway towards Banff. Skip Calgary and do the KVR from Castlegar to get to Vancouver then do the Pacific coast. It is possible to do this route from Edmonton to San Francisco in about two months, so you'll have time to stretch it out in a more relaxed pace. If you've made good time and do it under two months, you could head up the Western Express Route towards Colorado, and if you are running short in the end, head for the nearest Amtrak station to hightail it to Denver.

220
Gear Talk / Re: Cycling Sandals
« on: April 21, 2009, 11:35:03 pm »
Waterproof means that the sandal materials can actually take being wet. My first Lake sandals had quite a bit of leather on the straps which took longer to dry and deteriorated over time.

221
Gear Talk / Re: Cycling Sandals
« on: April 18, 2009, 12:33:00 am »
I've tried three SPD sandals: Lake, Shimano, and Keens. I like the Keens best since they're waterproof. I usually take regular cycling shoes and SPD sandals when I tour. Sandals are great as they are easier to slip on and off, especially if you're camping. When it's cold and rainy, I put on some neoprene kayaking socks with my sandals, saving my regular shoes for dry conditions.

The downside to constantly cycling in sandals is the weird tanning pattern you get on your feet!

222
Routes / Re: Washington, DC to Montréal
« on: April 05, 2009, 02:10:39 pm »
I did much of your intended route in July/August 2001. I was going to cycle from Ottawa to Washington (capital to capital), but I stopped in Philadelphia because of a killer heatwave and a plunging Canadian dollar (went down to 62 cents that summer) which made things ridiculously expensive for me, especially in the urban areas. I ended up taking the train to Boston and riding up the cooler, rustic northeast and ended my tour in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Cycling through the Adirondacks is really nice, with lots of opportunities to free camp. Parts of the Hudson Valley are a quite industrialized, and you'll be passing though some tight spots once in a while, especially around Albany. There is a nice paved rail trail between Glens Falls and Lake George, make sure you find it.

I chose to cycle along the Jersey Shore between Highlands and Tom's River. There's a ferry that runs between Manhattan and Highlands which allows you to skip the mess of endless Newark/Jersey city suburbs. I imagine going the other way, it would be a spectacularly scenic way to enter NYC, sailing through the Verrazano Narrows and past the statue of Liberty. Manhattan is surprisingly cycleable, the biggest problem is securing your bike if you want to see the sights. The best way to get out of Manhattan from the north is the George Washington Bridge which has a cycleable path on its south side. From there you are clear into the Pallisades and the Hudson Valley.

There was a fierce headwind for me on the Jersey shore, but it should be great for you if you are heading north. I saw a few road cyclists in the Pine Barrens between Tom's River and Philadelphia which seems to be a training run for people in the area. One thing about this region is that there are very few established campgrounds, and free camping is really difficult along the some stretches.

BTW, you should consider coming up to Ottawa, less than 200 kms east of Montreal. The route would take you over the dome of the Adirondacks into the heart of the park and Lake Placid which has hosted the Winter Olympics twice. The Canadian capital has close ties with Holland (it is twinned with The Hague) as the Dutch Royal Family was exiled here during World War II (Princess Margriet was born in Ottawa). From here to Montreal is an easy cycle along the Ottawa River. I gladly host touring cyclists at my place on warmshowers.org, so let me know if you decide to pass by.

Best of luck, you are doing the right thing going from south to north, the wind will mostly be on your back.

223
Routes / Re: Orlando FL to Houston TX
« on: March 26, 2009, 01:07:52 am »
I had no problems at all. People-wise, everyone I came across was nice to me (except for a couple of yahoos screaming out of car windows, but those jerks exist elsewhere). I was given free food three times, and offered a ride when I was cycling in the rain (I declined). Bike-wise the only snag I had was a flat tire on the last afternoon of my tour.

224
Routes / Re: Orlando FL to Houston TX
« on: March 25, 2009, 09:28:44 am »
Good guess, it took me 16 days. Mostly favourable winds, a glancing SE breeze off the sea, and a couple of days of bracing NNW winds with 30 mph gusts in the middle of the FL panhandle. A mix of accommodations half of it camping, a couple of WS hosts, some motels as cheap as $29, and one hotel splurge in New Orleans because I wanted to be close to the Saturday night action. I took a light tent with me, a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2.

All the new bridges along the coast are excellent. It was a bit disappointing to see US 90 through Biloxi newly rebuilt without any bike lanes or a decent beachside pathway/promenade. With very minimal investment in cycling infrastructure to iron out a few rough spots (missing shoulders, alternate bike paths), this route has the makings of a great tour that offers a fantastic variety of scenery and culture.

225
General Discussion / Re: Best Camera for touring?
« on: March 25, 2009, 12:02:03 am »
I bought an Olympus Stylus 850 SW specifically four bike touring because it can take a fair amount of abuse. It's waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof. The 8 megapixels is adequate, and the newer models go up to 12. The large screen is good for reviewing pictures and is bright enough that you'll overlook the lack of an optical viewfinder. I've had mine for a year and a half now, and I also take it on kayak tours. No problems so far.

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/product.asp?product=1365

other models:
http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_digital_sw.asp


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